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Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Hiroshima Memorial Service for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

August 6, 2002

Here today on the occasion of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony marking the 57th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, I reverently pay sincere tribute to the souls of the atomic bomb victims. Furthermore, I express my heartfelt sympathy for those suffering from the after-effects of the atomic bomb.

Today, the efforts of the citizens of Hiroshima are bringing about dramatic developments to Hiroshima, an International City of Peace and Culture. We can never forget that the many lives lost to the horrors of the atomic bomb serve as a foundation of today's peace and prosperity.

As the only country ever to have experienced nuclear devastation, based on its determination that the horrors brought upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never be repeated, Japan observes its Peace Constitution, firmly maintaining the Three Non-Nuclear Principles of not possessing nuclear weapons, not producing them, and not permitting their introduction into its territory. There will be no change to this position in the future as in the past.

At the United Nations General Assembly last autumn, Japan advocated the importance of the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and proposed a draft resolution indicating a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which received overwhelming support from the international community, as in previous years. The Japanese government will continue to appeal to other governments towards the early entry into force of the CTBT.
Aiming to realize at an earliest date a peaceful and safe world without nuclear weapons, Japan will make its utmost efforts to lead the international community in promoting measures for nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

With regard to the atomic bomb victims, I have been working to enhance comprehensive support measures spanning health care, medical treatment and welfare based on the Law to Support the Survivors of the Atomic Bomb. From the current fiscal year, a decision has been made to provide new assistance measures for individuals who have lived abroad since being exposed to the atomic bomb. I will continue to work sincerely to promote support measures by facing the reality of the aging victims of the atomic bomb.

On the first day of this month, the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims opened. I sincerely hope that for all time this Hall will serve as a facility to convey the disaster of the atomic bomb to the entire world and commemorate everlasting peace.

I would like to conclude my address by offering my heartfelt prayer for the repose of the atomic bomb victims' souls and my best wishes for the future to the atomic bomb survivors and the bereaved families, and for the further prosperity of the City of Hiroshima.

Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan